MACo Speaks Up Against Costly Mandate towards Local Boards of Elections

On Tuesday, Kevin Kinnally testified in opposition of HB 565 Election Law – Voting Systems – Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities.

MACo does not raise policy objections with this goal – county concerns are merely practical and cost-driven.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 565 seeks to ensure that voters with disabilities are provided specified access to voting that is equivalent to access afforded voters without disabilities…

…As a rule, MACo resists state policies that result in costly or burdensome local implementation. This bill would result in substantial costs to local Boards of Elections, driving needs for additional ballot marking devices (approximately 18,000 statewide) to accommodate all eligible voters, as well as increased storage and transportation costs.

Furthermore, local Boards of Elections indicate substantial costs for information technology personnel to test, prepare, troubleshoot, and maintain the additional ballot marking devices. According to the bill’s fiscal and policy note, county expenditures would increase by $6 million per election cycle.

Under state law, counties have no choice but to fund these costs – competing for limited local funds against education, public safety, roadway maintenance, and other essential public services.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.